Understanding horses’ joints and when to feed a Joint Supplement


What is arthritis?

Arthritis is a disorder of the joints, characterised by the breakdown of articular cartilage and the development of new bone on the joint surfaces and edges. Arthritis can follow after an injury or may develop as a result of wear and tear. Arthritis results in pain, and is the most common cause of lameness in all types of horses.

Which horses are at risk?

Arthritis most commonly affects older horses, as they have had the greatest opportunity for wear and tear or injury over time. However, younger horses can also be affected. The more stress and strain transferred through a horse’s joints the greater the opportunity for wear and tear. The larger the horse the more weight their joints have to absorb and therefore arthritis is more common in bigger horses. Horses with poor conformation who therefore load their joints unevenly are also more at risk.
  • Lameness
  • Pain and stiffness
  • Swelling around a joint
  • Reduced performance
  • A change in the joint’s shape
  • Reduced range of motion of the joint
  • Maintaining healthy joints will help prevent arthritis
Research has shown that if articular cartilage isn’t supplied with key nutrients from synovial fluid during periods of wear and tear then damage can occur which will eventually result in arthritis.

What are the key nutrients?

  • Glucosamine – an important building block for cartilage. It helps cartilage act as a shock absorber
  • Chondroitin sulphate – essential for high quality joint fluid which helps protect the joint. It is also an important building block for cartilage
  • Hyaluronic Acid – a major component of joint fluid which acts to protect joints and inhibit damaging enzymes
  • MSM – Bio-available form of sulphur, which is essential for building new cartilage
  • Copper, zinc & manganese – essential trace elements required for maintenance and repair of cartilage
  • A lot of research has been carried out into nutrition and joint health. This has shown that feeding joint supplements is beneficial in horses that may incur mild joint sprains during athletic activity. The combination of glucosamine and chondroitin is considered to be most effective to maintain cartilage health.

Helping horses with arthritis

Unfortunately there is no cure for arthritis, as the damage to the joint is irreversible. However, your vet can prescribe treatments to make your horse more comfortable and reduce pain and inflammation. Feeding a joint supplement will help maintain healthy joint fluid to lubricate the joints and provide nutrients to support articular cartilage reducing the consequences of wear and tear. Look for a joint supplement containing herbal extracts to help ease joints, maximising mobility and flexibility.

Joint & Muscle Maintenance

Joint & Muscle Maintenance can be fed to horses and ponies of all ages and disciplines to help maintain healthy joints and muscles. Maintaining healthy joints is the key to reducing the consequences of concussion and everyday wear and tear. Joint & Muscle Maintenance provides all of the building blocks that are needed to help horses lubricate their joints, especially in horses prone to stiffness.
Joint & Muscle Maintenance contains bio-available molecules of Glucosamine and Chondroitin to ensure higher absorption into the bloodstream. Glucosamine and Chondroitin are key building blocks of cartilage and are needed for both maintenance and repair to protect joints from wear and tear. The choice of top riders, such as Olympic gold medallist, Carl Hester, joint and muscle maintenance is essential for horse owners as it helps support and maintain muscle elasticity and flexibility to give optimum performance and anti-oxidants to aid muscle recovery.

Nettex Arthri-Flex

Arthri-Flex is an advanced joint care supplement that delivers long-lasting results. Arthri-Flex contains high levels of bio-available molecules of Glucosamine and Chondroitin to ensure higher absorption into the bloodstream. It also contains high levels of Hyaluronic Acid and MSM, supplying all of the key components of cartilage and synovial fluid. Arthri-Flex provides the building blocks to help horses maintain their joints. Healthy joints help reduce the consequences of regular concussion and general wear and tear.
Arthri-Flex is suitable for horses and ponies of any age to help maintain joints before damage occurs, and to assist in the maintenance of joints in later years. Arthri-Flex also contains Meadow Sweet Panex Ginseng & Curcumin (Tumeric) to help maximise mobility and flexibility which can help ease muscular and joint stiffness.

Nettex Substi-Bute

Substi-Bute is a unique and innovative natural supplement that does not contain Phenylbutazone (Bute). Two levels of administration available (maintenance powder and syringe) which can help to maintain mobility and flexibility with no long term side effects.
Substi-Bute contains Scutellaria, Meadow Sweet and Curcumin, plus vitamins C & E, which are vital anti-oxidants to aid recovery of joints and muscles. Substi-Bute is ideal for all horses, from leisure horses and ponies, hunters, competition horses, polo ponies, showing, showjumping and dressage. It can be given before and after strenuous exercise for optimum performance and recovery.
Substi-Bute Impact Syringe is ideal to help ease minor bumps and bruises, minimising time off and interference with a horse’s competition schedule. Substi-Bute Maintenance Powder is ideal for older horses to help maintain comfort, performance and quality of life. Substi-Bute contains no substances banned or restricted by FEI rules.

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